The Shrine of the Schoenstatt Fathers is growing in Bangalore…
Celebration of October 18 at the Shrine of the Schoenstatt Sisters in Bangalore
INDIA, www.kentenich-gdw.de. The Shrine of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Bangalore is growing. The walls have grown. They saw it as a wonderful sign that the scaffolding and other preparatory work had progressed so well that on 18 October the ceiling of the shrine could be cast.
The main celebration of October 18 was planned for the afternoon at the Sisters' shrine. Since the growing shrine was to be unapproachable that whole day, because the ceiling was being cast, it should be included in the feast at least early in the morning. The house community of Kentenich Vidyaniketan, the houses of education, prayed Lauds, the morning prayer of the Church, in front of the shrine. As on every 18th, the banner was raised, only this time it was done in a more solemn way and after a preparatory talk by Father Roy, Delegate, who had come for the feast, and who was to be the main celebrant in the afternoon.
Celebration of the Founding Day at the Sisters' Shrine
The celebration of the Founding Day was prepared with special love on the property of the Sisters. The path to the shrine was lit up with lights. There were coloured lights everywhere. The altar podium - the common work of the Sisters and the students - proclaimed the motto for the day: We want to share the water of life from the shrine, our home!
Father Lourdu Stephen, who had been ordained in January, and who is now chaplain at the shrine of Our Lady of Healing, gave a fiery sermon. At least seven hundred people had responded to the invitation and in this way showed their love for the Blessed Mother. A shrine, the source of the water of life, was one of the many symbols presented at the offertory.
At the end of Mass, all the co-ordinators of the Pilgrim Mother came to the altar to be blessed and sent out once again. A picture of the Blessed Mother enthroned in flowers was carried in solemn procession from the place of Holy Mass to the shrine.
In front of the shrine, in preparation for the consecration to the Blessed Mother, all lifted up their hands. One hand held a burning light, with which they had accompanied the Blessed Mother, the other hand was open to receive her grace, the water of life. At the end of the celebration hundreds of little bottles of holy water were given out, and the people were invited to exchange the water with their neighbours, and to share it with others. The celebration closed with Benediction.
A layperson, who had experienced the special help of our Lady, donated a cup of hot tea for everyone in thanksgiving. Naturally, as at every Covenant Day each month, the petitions in the large jar was burnt in front of the shrine.
August 30th, the anniversary of the blessing of the shrine on Mount Sion, and closing day of the General Chapter of the Fathers on Mount Sion, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of the shrine on the land by the Schoenstatt Fathers' houses of education.
The building contractor who also built the other three shrines in India agreed to do the job and the cost was negotiated. The house community opened the feast day in the morning with a procession from the land of the future shrine to the shrine of the sisters. The students insisted on actively participating in the excavation of the foundation. Our sisters also wanted to be part of the preparation and agreed on celebrating the liturgy with us on the land of the future shrine once a month.
The Schoenstatt Fathers already have one Shrine in India, in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
Another Shrine under construction is in Ibadan, Nigeria.
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